Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Hand-painted ceramic tiles

Towards the end of last year I came across a box of white ceramic tiles, leftover from tiling the bath/shower area a few years ago. There were 30-40 square tiles in the box, and I wondered if I could make use of them in my weekly ceramics workshop.

First a test tile had to be made so that I could see how the available glazes reacted with the pre-glazed tiles. I was pleased with the result and thought I could proceed with the idea of doing paintings and/or
drawings on the available tiles.

A chart corresponding to the glazes used on the tile test is a necessary and invaluable tool! The available glazes are numbered mostly with Roman numerals, and I left out glazes that I definitely would not be using for this project (e.g., white and clear glazes).

I dug out some of my sketchbooks that had floral drawings and focused on images that I wanted to reproduce on the tiles and re-sketched them to the tile size. I also made a small chart so that the watercolour pencils I was using corresponded with the glaze test tile.

I used this sketch as a model for the finished tile that is the first image above.

I decided to do five testers to see how painting the glazes on tiles would work. It was a meticulous task, as the glazes are being painted on a glossy, smooth pre-glazed tile.

This is an image of four of the completed tiles in the kiln before firing. The fifth tile is on another shelf.

These are the same four tiles, still in the kiln, after the firing. I am pleased with the results and now can confidently do more of these paintings with the other tiles in the box!